Man Who Pleads To Child Porn Charges Was A School Bus Driver

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The man who pleaded guilty to possessing 3 million child porn images was employed for years as a school bus driver for Durham Bus Services in Wichita.

"There were no complaints on this person's record... nothing to indicate there may have been a problem with this bus driver, " USD 259 Spokesperson Susan Arensman said.

At that time, Wichita schools contracted with Durham School Services, which employed 74-year-old Donald Schmidt as a bus driver. Schmidt pleaded guilty this week to one count of possessing and one count of distributing child pornography.

The Wichita school district and the bus company removed Schmidt from duty in March when the police department notified them of a warrant. They then began looking at available video tapes of Schmidt's bus route.

"The tapes that we reviewed didn't show anything that would be suspicious or anything that would cause alarm or concern," Arensman said.

In his plea this week, Schmidt admitted to trading child pornography over the internet by using a peer-to-peer network. Investigators discovered more than 3 million images on two computers and various cd's at Schmidt's south Wichita home.

The school district says the proper background checks were done, which revealed nothing that would prevent them from hiring Schmidt as a bus driver. "If there's no way of people coming forward and saying there's something of a concern, unfortunately, there's not much we can do until after we're made aware of it," Arensman said.

Schmidt was caught when an undercover investigator in Florida downloaded child pornography from his home computer. Schmidt is now scheduled to be sentenced in January where he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

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